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Lately we have been spending a lot of time watching old, mostly B&W, films, many of which we remembered from the time when they came out.
Last night it was the 1959 Room at the Top, with the fantastic duet of Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret - she received Best Actress Oscar for that role.
It is not possible to recommend that film too highly.
For a syrupy rendition of a similar theme, but with an obligatory happy ending, there is 1960 From the Terrace, not such a bad film, starring Paul Newman with his wife Joanne Woodward.
Old World... New World... seldom are the differences more pronounced.
Another noteworthy stop in the current re-discovery journey.
I compiled rather intensive list of films from that category, good enough to cover us for the next couple of weeks.
Once again we enjoyed the African Queen and something new to us: Eyes Without a Face.
Those are all great films. I recently re-watched Billy Budd and was amazed that it was basically a platform for philosophy and debate. I had forgotten what a great film it was. They don't make 'em like that anymore!
"Juking? Oh! Well, that's when you get in a car, which is preferably open in any kind of weather. And then you drink a little bit and you drive a little bit, and then you stop and you dance a little bit with a jukebox. And then you drink a little bit more and you drive a little bit more, you stop and you dance a little bit more to another juke box! And then you stop dancing and you just drink and you drive. And then, you stop driving."
Brando's opening scene is a real marvel. My wife, who has severe aversion towards him, was riveted, and as it ended, just mumbled something like "Boy... what an actor!" under her breath.
Yes, that opening scene before the judge is unforgettable. And the scene in the graveyard when Joanne Woodward exclaims she can hear the dead saying "live!" is powerful too.
Haven't watched The Fugitive Kind, yet, but I picked it up during a Criterion half-price sale along with a few other Tennessee Williams based films including The Night of the Iguana and Suddenly, Last Summer. Saw Street Car on the big screen during a local theater's summer movie series. It's a tour de force in that format.
Last of the Mobile Hotshots is another Williams story directed by Sidney Lumet.
Baby Doll contains a treasure trove of quotes.
During my studies as an English major, I was sucked into the Southern Gothic genre. Wise Blood based on Flannery O'Connor's first novel dir. by John Huston and God's Little Acre based on Erskine Caldwell's novel are a couple of other films in this genre that are worth a look.
A film not in the Southern Gothic genre, but which includes a performance as strong as some of Brando's is East of Eden. James Dean knocks it out of the park in that one. The opening scene is epic.
Some of these we know, but I got down a couple of names, although the boss is reluctant to watch more of Williams - too depressing, she sez. :)
So we watched the Suddenly, then went on to East of Eden.
Problems with these great old films is that virtually none of them exists on streaming side of Netflix, and our disc queue is already way too long.
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